NPA board member Olivier Picard on the French pharmacy model at the Pharmacy Show 2019

The French model of pharmacy is putting pharmacy
at the front line of healthcare so basically what the French government is doing is they’re
looking to make sure that people use pharmacy as the first point of contact, wherever they
are. So we know there are more pharmacies in France, about 22,000 pharmacies for a 66
million population, that compares to 14,000 pharmacies in the UK for the same population.
But what this gives the government is reassurance that wherever you are, rural or urban area,
you will have access to a community pharmacy at the front door, near where you live. And
part of control of entry for pharmacies is to make sure that the pharmacies that open serve the
local populations where they’re open and that’s something that the French government,
is keen to do. Now, what can we learn from this? Well the French government is very brave
in funding a model that sustains 22,000 pharmacies in, on the territory. And having the confirmation
by the government that there is a funding model that will sustain the network of pharmacy
at the moment will make sure that we don’t disrupt that. Now, the French model is very
good at introducing new services, they’re staring on January 2020 a minor ailments service
which will be a consultation with a pharmacist, generally self-referred. There will be a supply
of a product that will be given to the patient if required or it could just be advice, but
what that will do instantly is they expect it will save millions of GP appointments from
day one. The other thing that the French government is doing is they looked at the statistic and
they looked at the way flu vaccinations service is, for example, commissioned in the UK, and
they thought “Well, actually, in the UK they’ve increased the amount of patients that are
vaccinated by offering the vaccinations to pharmacies so we are going to do the same
thing”. But on top of that, they are now looking at other vaccination service as a flu vaccination
being a success story, and yet again we could probably copy that in this country by saying
well, “We’ve done flu vaccination for several years now, is it time to introduce other vaccination
services that could benefit, you know, access to services to patients?”

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